Another Music Monday selection is here, this time my favorite album from Black Label Society–Order of the Black.
Like many BLS fans, I discovered this band primarily because I was a fan of Zakk Wylde from his days as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist. Though it was several releases into BLS’s career that I happened upon them, I’ve been a fan ever since.
While I like BLS’s earlier releases and I really enjoy the newest release Catacombs of the Black Vatican, nothing compares (IMO) to Order of the Black. BLS’s patented blend of southern and classical rock with hints of modern rock sensibilities is pulled off like no other. Wylde’s signature crooning and legendary guitar work and supported by driving percussion and rumbling bass resulting in a rock-n-roll masterpiece. Wylde also shows his softer side in three ballads, all of which are really well done, my favorite of which is Shallow Grave.
I hear echoes of lots of bands here–Shinedown, Guns-n-Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revival, even Metallica. And while BLS clearly is indebted to the rockers that came before, they have carved out their own niche in a scene saturated with mediocre radio rock and continue to blaze their own trail.
My favorite track hands down is the lead track Crazy Horse, though I like the album beginning to end. Other standout tracks are Overlord, Parade of the Dead, and Southern Dissolution.
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